Picking the right color bottle and the right colors for your labels is going to offer your brew followers the ability to find your brand and select the right flavor. The most important element that is best at communicating personality with just a quick glance is color. 

Colored Beer Bottles

Before you start picking out the colors for your label, you want to think about the colors of (1) your bottles and (2) your beer. There are three common beer bottle colors: clear, brown and green.

In terms of functionality, brown bottles filter out ultraviolet (and regular) light, which protects the beer and keeps it from getting skunky. If you’re brewing something hoppy, it’s a no-brainer to go brown, but beers with little to no hops aren’t as susceptible to the light, so you can consider clear or green bottles. There aren’t any functional reasons to pick one over the other, so it’s mostly an aesthetic and cultural choice. Green bottles became popular after WWII, when there was a shortage of brown glass in Europe. Because these beers were extremely high quality, the green bottle became a status symbol for good beer. It’s less commonly used by craft brewers because of it’s very specific association with a few prominent European beers (e.g. Heineken, Stella Artois, Carlsberg). However, it’s a perfectly legitimate choice to make!


Once you know your bottle color, you can start picking label colors.

Green bottles are traditionally paired with black and white labels, perhaps with a pop of red (which is complementary to green). Brown bottles offer a neutral background for your label and really any color works. The most common are warm colors: oranges, golds, red. Shockingly, this is also the color of beer! Using a color scheme like this reminds customers of your product and provides a more traditional feel. It can also help a customer easily identify what variety of beer you’re selling: red ales use red labels, ambers use amber, yellow a light or blonde, stouts a dark brown. But that’s not a hard-and-fast rule. An alternative color scheme can make your label stand out as something more modern or playful, if that’s the brand you’re looking to create.

Beer Flavor Associated with Color label

Beer Flavor Coincides with Standard Colors

But designers these days are using every color imaginable in their labels! 

Clear bottles are unique in that the color of your beer becomes the background for your label design. Many brewers who use clear bottles play this color up in their label, either with a label color that nearly matches, or that contrasts.


Contact Mariellen at tap@aueragency.com to get your label design started. Or call us to find out more at 704-236-0568.

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